presented by:
Helena Bezzina

Dr Helena Bezzina is a highly experienced Creative Industries professional and academic, having worked in museums, galleries and universities in Australia and South-East Asia for more than 20 years. Originally an artist and art-educator, Helena has worked in the corporate sector (with Apple Computers), was the Director of Undergraduate Studies at Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore. She worked for the National Museum of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery, Singapore‚Äôs Asian Civilisations Museum, Bega Valley Regional Gallery and more recently the Newcastle Art Gallery. Researching and working in the field of interpretive programming within museums for over fifteen years has provided Helena first hand experience of the transformative effects of art and wellbeing with the general public. Witnessing groups gather as strangers for a tour and then connect through the experience of viewing and discussing art speaks to the power of art to bridge social isolation. This and the experience of working with special needs groups such as seniors living with Alzheimer’s and youth with mental health issues, has provided Helena the motivation to focus current research on museums as potential sites for health and wellbeing. She is an Associate Lecturer at the University of Newcastle.